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Your Mommy goes to Limited Releases

July 20th, 2007

There are a couple of films opening in limited release this weekend that might expand wide, Sunshine and Goya's Ghosts. If I were to put money on the outcome, I would say Sunshine has the better shot at mainstream success, but both will have a difficult time making it.

Cashback - Reviews
The latest film to open in theaters and on PPV simultaneously while coming out on DVD the following Tuesday. I don't think this release strategy has ever worked, at least not at the box office. This film is unlikely to turn things around, as it is just not that good. Certainly not worth checking out in theaters over renting the DVD. The movie moves too slowly at times and seems to go nowhere (there were a couple of side trips that just sort of ended without a real resolution). I can't recommend heading off to the theaters to check it out, but the DVD is worth a rental. Speaking of which, we will have a spotlight review of the DVD on Monday.

David & Layla - Reviews
A culture clash romantic comedy that just doesn't work well enough as a romantic comedy or as social commentary. Had it concentrated on one or the other it would have been an improvement and the romantic comedy angle probably would have been easier to sell. David & Layla opens tonight in seven theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Falling for Grace - Reviews
A cross-class romantic comedy involving mistaken identity, so you probably know exactly what's going to happen in the movie. Predictability is a hallmark of the genre, but the cast is charming enough that the film works. That said, it is not the kind of film that usually succeeds on the art house circuit. Falling for Grace opens tonight at the Kabuki Cinema in San Francisco.

Goya's Ghosts - Reviews
Milos Forman has earned three Best Director Oscar nominations including wins for One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus. If the reviews are any indication, this film won't be remembered as one of his best. In fact, this film is earning the worst reviews out of all of his directing efforts so far. Additionally, the film hasn't exactly won over audiences in the numerous international markets it has played in. This suggests the film will struggle here, especially with a opening theater count that is too large. Goya's Ghosts opens in 49 theaters nationwide, and I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the film didn't expand significantly beyond that.

Live-In Maid - Reviews
Set in Argentina during the 2001 economic meltdown. It's a dark subject, but one that the writer director, Jorge Gaggero, approaches in a light and optimistic way. Live-In Maid opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Partner - No Reviews
The latest Bollywood release, and you know what that means. No reviews, no advanced buzz, etc. There's barely a 50/50 chance that we will have box office numbers for the film on Monday. That said, its niche market tends to be very supportive of such films and it should do reasonably well at the box office.

Summercamp! - Reviews
A documentary about kids going off to Summer Camp. Never went to camp, never saw the appeal. But the four kids who are featured in this movie obviously feel otherwise. Their enthusiasm is infectious, but infection is one of the reasons I never wanted to go to camp. Summercamp! opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

Sunshine - Reviews
The latest film from Danny Boyle is opening with better reviews than I was expecting, but it is taking the limited release route, which is a tough road regardless of the reviews. Also, the film hasn't exactly lit up the box office in the international markets and that's another strike against it. I expect it will do well enough this weekend to expand, but I would be surprised if it earned half of its original expectations. Sunshine opens tonight in 10 theaters in major cities nationwide.

Your Mommy Kills Animals - Reviews
A documentary about the animal rights organizations who have been named the most dangerous terrorist organization in the United States. I remember not too long ago when the government said there were 500 Al Qaeda terrorist cells operating in the United States, so either the war on terror has gone swimmingly, or there's something fishy with the numbers. The documentary is not only amazing (most of the time), it is also amazingly balanced and that's not something that's easily done. (I will say that balance is not always a good thing as people can fall into the Golden Medium fallacy.) Your Mommy Kills Animals opens tonight, but the theater count seems to be a heavily guarded secret.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Sunshine, Partner, Goya's Ghosts, Cama adentro, David & Layla, Falling for Grace, Cashback, Summercamp!, Your Mommy Kills Animals